Fried Zucchini Sticks (Carrabba’s Italian Grill Copycat!)

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Fried Zucchini Sticks are crispy, crunchy, and full of subtly sweet and savory flavors! Enjoy all of the beauty of fries made with your favorite squash. All you need are a handful of basic pantry ingredients and some zucchini to make it yourself at home. Learn how to recreate Carrabba’s Italian Grill zucchini fritte with my easy recipe!

titled: Carrabba's Italian Grill Zucchini Fritte


Fried Zucchini Sticks

This isn’t my first zucchini recipe and it definitely won’t be my last!! This is the Slow Roasted Italian, after all, and this squash is a mainstay in Italian cooking… and beyond!

From Baked Zucchini Chips and zucchini fries in the air fryer to Grilled Zucchini Parmesan and zoodles with sausage, there’s something for every meal and every occasion.

And now, I’m bringing something new to the mix: fried zucchini sticks, just like at Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

This is one of my favorite appetizers to order out. There’s something so delicious about these crispy-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside veggie fries.

Pair them with your favorite dipping sauces as a snack, or serve them alongside a protein and a carb for dinner. They’re so versatile!

I made these deep fried zucchini sticks at my last family party, and everyone went crazy for them.

That’s right: they’re impressive enough for guests too. And incredibly easy to make!

ingredients for fried zucchini sticks recipe

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Zucchini – I’m using a few medium-sized zucchini for this recipe. When you’re prepping, make sure to wash them well and cut the slices evenly.

    You want them to cook at the same rate!
  • All-Purpose Flour – For the breading. I almost always use all-purpose flour to create my dredging stations — but if you’re gluten-free, use your preferred 1:1 GF flour.
  • Eggs – You’ll need 3 large ones. If you want to skip the eggs, you can substitute them with a mixture of flour and water or milk to create a paste.
  • Breadcrumbs – It’s important not to use any old breadcrumbs! Your choice will impact the final texture and flavor of your fried zucchini sticks.

    I like Panko best as they give a lighter, crispier crunch!
  • Seasonings – I season the zucchini with a bit of salt and pepper, then add dried parsley and dried oregano to the breadcrumbs. 

Feel free to get creative with different herbs and spices! Garlic and onion powder, or even some grated Parmesan cheese would all add an extra layer of flavor.

  • Vegetable Oil – For frying. I typically use canola oil!
dredging zucchini sticks in flour

Tips and Tricks to Make Perfect Zucchini Fritte

  • Don’t skip the seasoning step.

Zucchini contains a ton of water, which will make your Carrabba’s zucchini fritte go soggy if you don’t remove some of that excess moisture.

The easiest way to do it is to season the sliced zucchini with salt and pepper and let them sit for about 5 minutes.

The salt will draw out some of the water, which will help them crisp up more nicely after frying!

  • Use a thermometer to check the oil temperature.

Make sure the vegetable oil is hot before you start frying — it should be between 350°F and 375°F — or else your zucchini fritte won’t come out crispy. 

Use a candy thermometer to determine the exact temperature. The zucchini should start to sizzle as soon as it hits that hot oil.

In case you can’t tell already, I’m all about making my deep fried zucchini sticks as crispy and crunchy as possible, just like Carrabba’s!

  • Bake for a healthier version.

If you’re not a fan of deep frying, you can also make Carrabba’s zucchini fritte in the oven!

Bread the zucchini as directed on the recipe card, but place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper instead of frying.

Bake at 425°F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

You’ll be able to enjoy the same flavors and texture (though not exactly the same texture, just FYI) without the excess oil.

dipping zucchini sticks in beaten egg

Prep Ahead

  • Slice and season the zucchini, then let it sit
  • Create the dredging stations

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Mixing Bowls – I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • Shallow Bowls for dredging.
  • 4 Quart Stock Pot – Great for soups, roasts, frying, and more! This is a staple in my kitchen.
  • Candy Thermometer – To check the oil temp.
  • Slotted Spoon – To safely remove your food from the hot oil.
pressing zucchini sticks in breadcrumbs

Serving Suggestions 

These fried zucchini sticks are best enjoyed hot! They will lose their crispiness over time, so if you want that signature crunch, try to prepare them just before you’re ready to serve. 

If you plan on making a large batch for a party, place on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven to keep them warm.

They may for a great snack or appetizer — paired with your favorite dipping sauces, of course. I love ranch, marinara sauce, and chipotle lime mayo, or you could make some lemon aioli, just like at Carrabba’s.

Zucchini fritte is also an excellent side dish for grilled meats or seafood. Honey balsamic grilled chicken, London broil, and shrimp are just a few ideas!

tongs holding a fried zucchini stick

Storing and Reheating Deep Fried Zucchini Sticks

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Remember that zucchini naturally contains a ton of water — I usually add a clean paper towel to the container with them to soak up any moisture!

I recommend reheating fried zucchini sticks in your air fryer at 350°F for 3-5 minutes for the crispiest results.

You could also use your oven — 10-15 minutes at 375° on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet should do the trick.

Fried Zucchini Sticks FAQ

How do you keep breading from falling off zucchini?

To keep the breading from falling off your deep fried zucchini sticks, you need to make sure they’re as dry as possible before you get started. Allowing the zucchini to sit in salt and pepper for at least 5 minutes can be super helpful. 

You may also want to chill the breaded zucchini for about 15 minutes before frying. This gives it enough time to really stick!

How do you keep zucchini from getting soggy when frying?

Salting the zucchini before you bread and fry it is key! It drains any excess moisture which will keep things nice and crunchy. 

You can also pat the squash dry before you add the salt to help the process.

Why is my fried zucchini bitter?

Deep fried zucchini can sometimes taste bitter if the zucchini is overripe or has a lot of large seeds. If this is a real concern, you can always scoop out the seeds before slicing your squash.

As a note, letting it sit in salt could also help remove any bitterness! See how important that step is? 

fried zucchini stick dipped in sauce

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closeup plate of fried zucchini sticks with dipping sauce

fried zucchini sticks on a plate with sauce for dipping

Fried Zucchini Sticks (Carrabba’s Italian Grill Copycat!)

Donna Elick
Fried Zucchini Sticks are so easy to make. Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, Carrabba’s zucchini fritte are incredibly tasty!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Method Stovetop
Servings 4


  • 2 medium zucchinis, washed and cut into ¼-inch thick sticks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • In a medium bowl, season the zucchini sticks with salt and pepper, toss to coat and allow them to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Set up your dredging station: In one shallow dish, place the flour. In a second dish, beat the eggs. In a third dish, combine the breadcrumbs, dried parsley, and dried oregano.
  • Dredge each zucchini slice first in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip it in the beaten eggs, ensuring it’s fully coated. Finally, coat it in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing lightly to make sure it adheres.
  • Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the zucchini slices in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  • Fry each batch for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the zucchini fritte from the oil, and drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Season the Zucchini Fritte with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the Zucchini Fritte while they’re still warm. They can be enjoyed as is, or with a side of your favorite dipping sauce.

Donna’s Notes

To ensure a crispy texture, make sure the oil is hot before you start frying. The zucchini should sizzle as soon as it hits the oil.
Try to cut the zucchini slices evenly to ensure they cook at the same rate.
These Zucchini Fritte are best served immediately, as they can lose their crispiness over time. However, if you have leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven or air fryer to restore some of their crunch.
The choice of breadcrumbs can greatly influence the final texture and flavor of your Zucchini Fritte. Panko breadcrumbs, for instance, will provide a lighter, crispier coating compared to regular breadcrumbs.
Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices in the breadcrumb mixture. Garlic powder, onion powder, or even some grated Parmesan cheese could add an extra layer of flavor.
If you prefer a healthier version, these zucchini sticks can also be baked in the oven. Just arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 425°F (220°C) for about 20 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
For an egg-free version, you can substitute the eggs with a mixture of flour and water or milk to create a paste for the dredging process.
Zucchini Fritte makes a great snack or appetizer, but can also be a perfect side dish for grilled meats or fish.
If you’re making a large batch for a party, keep the cooked Zucchini Fritte warm and crispy by placing them on a baking sheet in a 200°F (95°C) oven until ready to serve.
Remember that zucchini contains a lot of water, which can make your fritte soggy if not handled properly. That’s why it’s important to let the salted zucchini sit for a few minutes before dredging; this will draw out some of the moisture, resulting in a crispier end product.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 345cal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 358mg | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 5mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Carrabba's Italian Grill Zucchini Fritte - PIN

Originally published April 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    Wowza, these zucchini fritte are out-of-this-world good! 😍 Easy peasy to make, just follow the steps, and you’ll be in crispy veggie heaven. Thanks, Donna for this gem!

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